Laura Cavender

Lombardi Researchers and Physicians Help Launch First-Ever District Cancer Control Plan

Plan calls for greater access to care and prevention services in the District, which has one of the highest cancer rates in the country

Washington, DC Researchers and physicians at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center were part of the team that contributed to the District’s first-ever cancer control plan, released today. The report, authored by a coalition representing more than 50 community cancer advocacy and care groups, called for a major effort in the District of Columbia to improve access to cancer care and prevention services for residents.


Lombardi’s Jeanne Mandelblatt, MD, co-chaired the executive committee that authored the report. Dr. Mandelblatt is the research director of Georgetown’s Capital Breast Care Center, which provides free and low-cost breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment for underserved women in the District. Lombardi researchers and physicians Vanessa Sheppard, Gloria Londono, Ann O’Malley, Wendy Paramore, Aziza Shad and Ken Tercyak  contributed to the report as well.


One of the coalition’s recommendations was to provide more screening sites for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer, stating that facilities for cancer screening are “few and far between in the District’s poorer neighborhoods.” Georgetown’s Capital Breast Care Center was established in 2004 to reduce the cancer disparities that exist in the District and develop models to improve the quality of breast care for Washington area residents. Rooted in the Jesuit tradition of service to others, the center’s mission is to provide medically underserved women in DC with high quality access to services including comprehensive health education and risk assessment, clinical breast examinations, screening mammography and diagnosis and treatment, if necessary.


Anatoly Dritschilo, MD, who is interim director of Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center—one of 39 NCI-designated comprehensive care centers in the nation and the only one in the Washington area—commented on the report: “It is undeniable that health care should be available to underserved populations, and the report looks comprehensively at the District’s specific needs for cancer care and prevention,” Dritschilo said. “Georgetown’s Capital Breast Care Center provides this kind of preventive care in one of the most underserved areas of DC, in part due to resources from the District of Columbia as well as a gift from the Avon Foundation.”


Peter Shields, MD, is the associate director for population science at Lombardi and current director of Georgetown’s Capital Breast Care Center in Southeast DC and a professor of medicine and oncology at Lombardi: "This plan is important because it focuses not only on improving access to cancer care and prevention for everyone, but it also focuses on the importance of lifestyle and prevention, for example, smoking and obesity."

About Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 39 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to